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218                                    FLORA INBICA.                       [Berderidea.
them broke down under every successive author's hands, so that each, thinking his
own species new, because not agreeing with the descriptions of his predecessors, de-
scribed them as such accordingly. Lastly, we have compared our notes and observa-
tions with the results arrived at by Madden, Straehcy and \Vinterbottom, "Wallich,
Edgeworthj Uoyle, and others, and find that none of these botanists agree with one
another nor with us in their views of the limits of the forms.
Under these circumstances we have felt it incumbent upon us to devote a great
deal of time to studying the variations of each organ, and the result has been to re-
duce the species to a few well-marked forms; under these we have ranged the spu-
rious species as varieties^ retaining, however, the specific names they bore, so that
they may be applied as sucK by those who tuke a different view of the value of spe-
cific characters to ourselves. We have also pointed out, under each variety, its rela-
tions to the other varieties of the same species, and to those of other species.
The following remarks on the variations of organs, etc., may be useful.
As regards habit, the species, without exception, vary extremely, many of them
from tall bushes with twiggy branches to prostrate stunted shrubs, according to cold,
and, the dckgree of exposure to winds and drought; a reduction of leaves and stipules
to spines, of racemes to fascicles of flowers, a shortening of the peduncles and pedi-
cels, a reduction in the size of the flowers and of the leaves, with additional coria-
ceousness, aud sometimes the development of glandular pubescence and glaucous
bloom, are all characters more or less directly attributable to elevation,-exposure,
cold, or drought; it is however to be remarked, that an increased size and fleshiness
of berry often accompanies these changes. The spines are more usually 5-fid in the
dry country forms than in those from humid localities. "
There is no natural or constant distinction into evergreen and deciduous-leaved
species j> for, though some species or forms, as B. Lycioides, d$iu,tiuat and Nepaleitsls
are always persistent-leaved, and the common form of Ji. vtdyaris is always deci-
duous-leaved, the fprms Crrlica and JBtnetisis of the latter have often very persistent
foliage, uud the duration of the leaves of .#. aristala entirely depends on the depth of
forest, and the amount of light, heat, and moisture to which it in consequently exposed.
The many forms of this plant which have been raised in Kew Gardens, from seeds
sent home by ourselves and others, we find to present every variety in amount of
persistence; and after three years' observation we conclude, that in certain seasons
some am wholly deciduous which in others are quite persistent, uud (hut the period
at which the cold arrives 1ms a different effect on different varieties, "We also observe
that much depends on the age of the plant, aud that different pads of the shrub art-
very differently affected.
The MZC, toothing, and cutting of ,the leaves, and of the pposite sides of each leaf,
vary extruaieiy in all the species, as does th« number of leaves in each faacicte, in
ail parts of the individuals. The rapidity with which they colour is equally variable;
those alpine species which are in the upper temperate 'Himalayan regions exposed
to sudden frosts, redden rapidly, converting green mountain-slopes into bright-led
in two nights. The racemes ot flowers are often more or less cymose, the pedicel*
being more or less fasciculatej these and the peduncles vary extremely in robustness,
and are sometimes almost fleshy aud very glaucous. Wo have becu unable to connect
the various forms of inflorescence with habit, further than that, as stated above, there
is a reduction of all parts in alpine forma. Though the extreme states of j&. aris-
i(ihit with racemose and cymoae inflorescence, art- extremely unlike, we have gathered
specimens ou. which these occur on one and the same, branch; we have afio found
stunted specimens of the same plaut with solitary axillary pedicels, wholly resembling
J?. vagulv&a. iu this respect, which is typically one-flowered,
\Te have devoted especial attention to -the variations of the flowers *ad fruit, be-
wse, in *il polypetAlous gemsca, in winch there is a gradual transition from hm»ts
to petals, the iloral enveloped all vary extremely in relative size and form. The
petal* ihcraadves are notched, entire, or bifid sometime* iu the same SJHJCWS, *nocmu!ti,
and )»wu dower, and vary from being larger than, to smaller than tlie sepal*. 'Die
size, pufritioa, aiul prominence of the glands at the base of the petals is u mast folia-